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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the April 2006 Newsletter

Greater or Lesser Than

Could it be that > (greater than) and < (less than) are more than just mathematical symbols? I wonder if most of the problems in the world come down to those little marks?

Some synonyms for a personal sense of “greater than” are arrogant, self-important, offensively self-assured, and project a sense of hubris. “Lesser than” has equally unappealing meanings: weak, unsure, flustered, lack of confidence, lacking in power or ability. And, it can lead to inappropriate behavior in an attempt to capture a sense of self worth.

These are the culprits that undermine our success as managers, in relationships and in giving presentations. On a larger scale, they also can and have started wars and bred crime.

It may not be easy, but it will be worthwhile to at least try to conquer either “greater than” or “lesser than” when making presentations.

Clearly, there’s no benefit to anyone in your feeling greater to or lesser than your listeners or your subject. The fact is: you’re not! Substitute instead, “equal to.” Equal to: having the same value or measure, peer, coequal, fellow traveler. One definition for equivalence reads: The relationship that holds for two propositions that are either both true or both false, so that the affirmation of one and the denial of the other results in contradiction.

Start with the experience and knowledge you bring to the event and choose to see the benefits to your audience of your message. If you know more about the topic than your listeners do, you will help them better when you work from the basis of equality because they will feel included and appreciated.

If you’ve been asked to speak to a group in which you might feel “lesser than,” remember that you’re all there to learn and progress, and you can offer what you do know with the assurance that comes from a secure and equal footing. You might be surprised at how much they can learn from you when you speak to them from a place of equality. “Equal to” will help you get the results you want.

First Person

Rochelle Canter, Executive Career Coach, San Francisco: “I really didn't know how being coached over the phone would work, but since (with my deadline) it was the only way we were going to be able to work together, I was willing to try because my upcoming speeches were so important to me.

“I appreciated how available you made yourself during the process and that you were kind, supportive and rigorous sharing your great advice with me.

“I'm not sure which meant the most to me: those crucial tips on avoiding nervousness, the suggestions for improving the look and impact of my PowerPoint slides, how to handle the slides and notes, how to move, or how to get the response I wanted. But I do know that the result was two good speeches. I felt good about the entire process and was pleased with the impact of the speeches.”

“Thank you.”

Looking at Your Audience

“How do you get over the fear of looking at the audience?”

This is kind of a “chicken and egg” thing. If you’ll look at the audience, look at and see individuals as you speak, you’ll find it calming. Everything we imagine about them is quite different from the reality. They’re generally supportive and want you to do well, and you’ll recognize that you’re talking to human beings, people. You’ll see some of them respond to what you’re saying and get encouragement from that.

So, before you’re up in front, take time to check them out. Look at them and get used to seeing them as individuals. And, when you do stand in front of them, take another moment to breathe and get used to looking at them one at a time. That way you’ll all ready have gotten some of the benefits of eye contact before you even start talking.

It really is better.

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

“The manner in which it is given is worth more than the gift.” —Pierre Corneille

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs, jolted by every pebble in the road.” —Henry Ward Beecher

“Truth is shorter than fiction.” —Danny Thomas

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” —John F. Kennedy

“Your chances of success are directly proportional to the degree of pleasure you derive from what you do. If you are in a job you hate, face the fact squarely and get out.” —Michael Korda

“In an age short on craftsmanship and long on shoddiness, anything done well laying bricks, playing games, or even writing press releases should be admired.” —George Will

“A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.” —Sir Barnett Cocks

For more great quotes, check out these websites:

Orders

Think gifts. Someone you know is going to be giving more presentations soon. Give them a practical gift that will make those presentations easier and more effective. Learn more or Order Online.

Book
"Getting Over Yourself: A Guide to Painless Public Speaking...and More" by Barbara Rocha 208 pages, illustrated, cartoons $19.95

Audiotape or CD ROM
The "Getting Over Yourself" book on audiotape read by the author ($17.95) or CD ROM ($19.95).

Booklets by Barbara Rocha:
$9.95 each (+$1.50 Shipping and Handling)
"Pocket Guide for Presenters"
103 pages

"60 Ways to Spark Your Speaking: Just in time answers to frequently asked questions"
154 pages

"Love to Talk/Hate to Speak: Selected articles by Barbara Rocha"
121 pages

Speeches on Tape:
"From Bored Room to Board Room" $10.95
"Stand Up and Stand Out" $10.95

Video
"Getting Over Yourself: A Guide to Painless Public Speaking" featuring Barbara Rocha in excerpts from her book, seminar classes and interactive coaching. VHS $99.95

Learn more
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Call (888) 800-2001
E-mail: BouldinHil@aol.com
Write: Bouldin Hill Press at 17-555 Bubbling Wells Rd., Desert Hot Springs, CA 92241

Seminars

**How to Overcome the Stress of Public Speaking
Pasadena: 3-day workshop October 25, 26, 27, 2010.

We have two public seminars each year: May and October/November. If you have several people who could use this training, contact us regarding an in-house seminar.

As a refresher, workshop graduates (from any of our 3-day workshops) may attend for half price at any time. People tell us they get as much or more out of the workshop the second time around.

Visit our seminars section for details or call (888) 800-2001

For more information, contact:

Barbara Rocha and Associates

PO Box 60521, Pasadena, California 91116

(626) 792-8075



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